Friday, July 30, 2010

PDF Customers... Need Your Opinion!

What do you think of this format for PDF releases?

Note what you're using to look at the pdf (laptop, ipad, whatever).

35 comments:

  1. I'd look into a single column format for PDF releases, especially if you're using A5.

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  2. This format looks good to me. I viewed it on a Windows OS Desktop.

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  3. Looks good. My 2 cents

    1. Dont use a background image or complex layout because it makes rendering harder on machines with more limited graphics memory (iPad). You did this already.

    2. Might want to consider converting the layout to Landscape. Makes it easier to read. If converting it that way is too much work for your layout artist, might want to make it available in Spreads (almost as good).

    3. Are you hyperlinking things so that someone can click on some reference to a mechanic and jump to the description?

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  4. Looks good to me on a desktop with Windows XP Pro, reading it in Firefox 3.6.8, and on Adobe Reader 9.

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  5. Like page 1. Columns help on small devices. I'm using an iTouch.

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  6. Use format 1 for people with laptops and desktop computers. Format 2 seems like it would be better for people with even smaller machines (iPads, iPhones). Like Greg said, landscape may be better for people with devices that orient when you turn them.

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  7. Just updated the file with a total of 4 page layouts for PDF. Let me know which you think is best.

    A5 is cool for everyone?

    And honestly, when I do the PDF versions, I'm doing them once, so I'm looking for a best compromise position here. :)

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  8. {WinXP, Chrome's internal PDF viewer} both formats look good, but F2 works better for on-screen use. I'd prefer a horizontal page (matching screen proportions) for this use.

    {B&N Nook, eInk} F2 again. Some weirdness with reflow. Image looks great.

    {Crackberry PDF app} dear gods, no - make it stop.

    Hackery: the lorem ipsum as-is decomposed to HTML nicely, making the ePub test I built work well. Okay, not so much "well" but better than Dark Dungeons did when I reformatted than one...

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  9. Addendum to my comment: revised PDF on PC - F4 is not so good, F2 is far better. For chart pages on the Nook, I'd love that format - it looks very nice that way.

    F3 is an abomination to all things e-typographic. May St. Jan of Tschichold strike you down where you stand for your sheep-stealing, sir! ;)

    Again, I'd really really really love to see this as an ePub as well as a PDF.

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  10. I like format 1, although increasing the leading slightly would improve readability. Formats 3 and 4 I do not like.

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  11. Mac OS 10.6, using Preview. Looks fine. My personal preference is format #1

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  12. I read my PDFs on an iPad. It handles graphics fine. In fact, I say leave the layout as is. The digest size is perfect for the iPad and requires no work from you. However if you want to make it available for people to print on their machines, that is different. Actually, no. Format 1 is best for them too.

    For my purposes, I say go with Format 1. It is what you used in LotFP so it will make it available as quickly as possible with very little compromise. If you want to really please the ebook reader crowd, go with Format 2. Format 3 is the worse in my opinion. Long and small text is not suited for extended reading. Straining to see the print and the wide format fatigues the eyes to no end. It is only suitable for college essays with the appropriate spacing. Format 4 and you're really catering to the people who read PDFs on their desktop. Which is fine if that's where you do your reading and playing, but otherwise not many.

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  13. Format 1 fails to display correctly on my netbook (Win7Starter, Acrobat plug-in in Google Chrome), so I can't comment on that. All that's visible is the page number.

    I rather like Format 2. Good size, and easy to read.

    I'm guessing that Format 1 has columns. While they are excellent in a printed format, they are a pain in the butt for me PDF-wise, since I have to scroll down, then up, then back down again, to read a page - or zoom out and grumble at the tiny print on my large monitor. :P

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  14. Format 1 and 3 for me on a desktop computer. And why is that woman taking a dump on her shield in such a dangerous place like a dungeon?

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  15. On an iPad I like formats 1 and 2, but I'd really prefer something in between. Like two-column with a slightly larger font than format 1, or one column with a slightly smaller font than format 2.

    I don't like 3 or 4.

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  16. The paper size doesn't matter to me. I'll buy the PDF whether it's A4, A5, letter, or whatever.

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  17. I prefer 3, though I seem to be in a minority. Don't like the multiple columns of 1, and HATE the landscape format of 4. To me the smaller text of 3 over 2 is good in that in keeps page count down but I can always use the zoom button to blow it up a bit on screen if I'm having a bad eyesight day. I use either a desktop or laptop PC. No iPad in my budget. Also use a Kindle, but that does a shit job on PDFs usually. Maybe the single column format would help that.

    By the way - I _really_ prefer the format of Page 5 - big booty FTW!

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  18. I vote for #1

    ...and yes that is a tear in my eye - the mansion cellar room X just ended my life.

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  19. My vote is for #2. Love the pic.

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  20. I like #2 - both for reading and printing digest-sized booklets

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  21. Of the choices in the pdf, Format 3 is by far the best, landscape the worst. I'm reading it on a Windows PC with Foxit Reader.

    There's another option, which is to have two columns for readability, but stop the columns half way down the page, so essentially you have two landscape half-pages per page, with two columns on each. It might seem a bit weird at first, but new media needs new formats, and all that.

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  22. I read a lot of academic papers and I find Format 1 is very tiring to read onscreen. Alot of people I know print out Format 1 type pages and read the physical copies. Format 2 is very easy to read and I like it a lot for on-screen reading. Format 3 is not as bad as Format 1 but Format 2 is still better. Format 4 would suck for printed copies. Reading portrait formatted book is way easier than landscape formatted one, which are more suitable for coffee-table type books which you don't spend much time holding.

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  23. F2. I'm on a 15' laptop, and tend to prefer double-column text no matter what I'm viewing on (be it a 30 inch landscape display or a tiny iPod screen).

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  24. I looked at it on my iPhone, though I do most of my PDF reading on the iPad. (Which my son is using at the moment.)

    Format 1 is best. Works OK on the phone, and should be great on the pad.

    The lines in Format 2 are too long. Too hard to read. (What is the rule of thumb? No more than about 10 words per line.) Format 3 & 4 are right out. The lines are much, much too long.

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  25. I agree w/Robert Fisher above. No more than 60 or so characters per line is what was drummed into us at print school in the 1980s ; so I'd prefer format 1. Viewed via desktop PC.

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  26. Looking at my iPad, I much prefer Format 2. The larger font size and uncluttered page is much easier to read and doesn't require me to fiddle with the page size or location on the screen.

    Format 1 is acceptable, but not ideal.

    Format 3 is too small without fiddling with the screen, and Format 4 would require me to lock the iPad screen so when I rotated it, the image wouldn't also rotate and shrink.

    The graphic on page 5 looks fine on the iPad.

    Oh ... and THANK YOU for even bothering to ask and check. I can't tell you the number of polite-but-pleading emails I've written to game publishers to tell them that their PDFs have problems on iPad (images won't load, text overlaps so everything looks garbled, etc.).

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  27. I am using a laptop, but would print out for actual use.

    Format 1 and Format 2 are both good. I don't like Format 3. Format 4 is the worst.

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  28. Geoffrey Dowding and Robert Bringhurst suggest a line of text in a book should be between 60 and 70 characters to balance ease of scanning with evenness of line breaks. Format two fits that most closely.

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  29. I'm in favor of format 1 or format 2. I typically read on a laptop or on my phone (Nexus One). Multicolumn formats no problem on the phone because I'm typically zoomed into one column. Larger text on a smaller page (e.g. format 2) also okay. What gives me grief is small text on a wide page (e.g. formats 3 & 4). And I have to say, even though it should be better for computer screens, I've never liked landscape layouts.

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  30. I'm liking Format 1 and Format 2. Format 3 uses too small a font. Format 4 is right out (akward orientation and too large a font).

    I'm viewing on a PC with a 21" flatscreen monitor.

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  31. I prefer format three or two.

    Especially with devices.

    I hope devices kill the multi-column RPG book
    :-)

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  32. Format 1. I use devices AND the columns are good for them as well as me.

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  33. Format 2 would be great on my Kindle

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